Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

January 2, 2014

Jeremy Grable: Heart and Talent

VALDOSTA — “Success is working hard to achieve a goal that has been set at a high standard,” said senior outside linebacker Jeremy Grable, who played football at Valdosta State University for four years.

Grable was born on June 20, 1991 in Anchorage, Al. moving to Marietta, Georgia in 2001 when he was 11 years old. He began playing football at the age of nine in Alaska, and continued playing in his new home of Georgia. In the beginning, he played running back for 6 years in addition to playing cornerback.

When Grable entered high school at Milton High, he started to play linebacker, in addition to seeing snaps at tight end. In his final two years of high school, Grable led his team in tackles for back to back seasons, gathering 97 tackles with 5 for loss, one interception and three pass break ups in 2009 and 88 tackles with 6 for loss and a forced fumble and recovery in 2008 as a junior.

Leaving high school, Grable knew he wanted to play football at a higher level.

 “I had D1 offers, but my grades weren’t that great. I came on a visit to Valdosta State with my friends and I meet a lot of the coaches and players, and made my decision on the spot that I wanted to be a Blazer,” said Grable.

Grable never regretted the decision, piling up an impressive career at VSU as an outside linebacker. With middle linebacker Chris Pope breaking Larry Dean’s tackle record this past season, some might overlook the many accomplishments of Grable, which were very similar to those of Pope. 

In his career as a Blazer, Grable tallied 259 total tackles, including 21.5 tackles for loss and 4 fumble recoveries. In his last season as a Blazer, Grable was second on the team in tackles with 88, only 4 tackles behind the teams’ leader, Pope (92). Grable was also named team captain for the season.

“Being defensive captain was awesome. I wanted to be a leader when I came to VSU and I even wanted to be one junior year, but I couldn’t, which was fine. It was a privilege to be a captain senior year, and I was very happy to be voted one,” said Grable.

In his last game, Grable had an interception, forced a fumble and recovered another on his way to being named the GSC Defensive Player of the Week for his final game of his college career.

“It was awesome. My last game at VSU was arguably my best game playing football here. It felt amazing to win defensive player of the week in my last college game ever,” said Grable. “I was shocked that I won too, because I knew I had a good game, but I didn’t think I would win that honor.”

At VSU, Grable learned some valuable lessons, including an important one about business.

“Football and anything you do in life is a business. You can’t take things to heart. You should want to work hard and grind to make it. You don’t want to go through life getting pushed around,” said Grable.

While VSU has its pros and cons, Grable found some positive through the negatives.

“One good thing about going to Valdosta State is you’re more than likely going to be a winner,” said Grable.

Grable enjoyed his time as a Blazer, but would change one thing about the school— the support of the fans at athletic events.

“I didn’t really like the game environment. We never had many fans at our games, or at any sporting events for that matter. But we still always played our heart out,” said Grable.

Off the field, Grable is a fun guy who is also a leader.

“I would describe myself as an outgoing, funny person. I’m pretty much someone who is easy to talk to. I am not that book smart, but I’m very football smart. I’m a leader,” said Grable. “I’m easy to talk to, and I like to hold conversations.”

Preparing for the next level is currently on the schedule for the outspoken linebacker, with a heart of gold. His strengths easily outweigh his weaknesses on the football field.

 “I know the game of football. I’m able to anticipate plays before the snap, which helps me make a lot of big plays. I’d say that is a strength I possess. Others would say my disadvantage may be my size. I’m about 6 ft. 220 lbs. Most NFL linebackers are 6’ 2”, 6’ 3” 240 lbs. But I always say if you can play the game, it doesn’t matter your size, it’s all about heart,” said Grable.

Being able to play the game with so much passion is something that Grable attributes to an old high school coach.

“In high school, I was pushed by linebacker coach, Coach Bennett. That man stayed on my butt 24/7 in high school and if he didn’t do that, I probably wouldn’t be the player I am today. I was always athletic but I didn’t have the drive I have now, until I met Coach Bennett,” mentioned Grable.

Grable had many memories at VSU, but one that will always stand out is also something Grable feels is his greatest achievement in life thus far.

“My greatest achievement thus far was winning the National Championship in 2012. Actually being able to win the whole thing after going into the playoffs being the last team on anyone’s mind to do it felt so great,” said Grable.

In addition to being one of his greatest achievements, the 2012 season also proved to be a bonding experience for each Blazer.

“The 2012 season was certainly the most fun season playing football at Valdosta State. The offensive line, the defense; it was just a brotherhood. I’ve never had anything like it. The start of the season we told ourselves we would win, and did it,” added Grable.

When asked how he would be remembered as he leaves Valdosta State to embark his new journey, Grable had this to say.

 “I think I left a pretty good mark on VSU. It’s hard to say this without sounding cocky, because I am not that type of guy, but I think I was one of the better linebackers in VSU history,” said Grable. “Playing next to Chris Pope, both of us left a big mark on Valdosta State.”

Now that Grable is no longer at VSU, he plans to train for the NFL, with hopes of making a team.

“I’ll be taking online class in spring while I train in Atlanta for NFL opportunities. If I don’t make it there, I would probably go back to school. I majored in psychology and would look for a job in my field, but If that didn’t work out, I have a lot of family in the Air Force, so if anything didn’t work out in the NFL, I would probably go there to be an officer,” said Grable.

Taking the next step to the NFL, Grable knows he could face adversity but he is not fazed by it.

“I think I handle adversity very well. In certain situations, I figure things out and handle them,” said Grable.

One thing is for sure, Grable will face a long road to the NFL, but with his passion for the game and his skill, Grable may just be the next Blazer to join the likes of Ryan Schraeder (Atlanta Falcons) and Larry Dean (Minnesota Vikings) in the National Football Team.

 

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